A birthday in Amsterdam

In the latest installation of our travels, we decided to try a new form of transport, a ferry!  Well, its not entirely new, we’ve been on one in Greece, but this was definitely different.  Our reason behind this was so we could take Lacey with us to Europe.

It started with a train ride to the port where we walked onto the ferry, which was more like a mini cruise ship.  Sadly we had to deposit the pup in the onboard kennels for the duration and she looked mighty pathetic when we walked out.  Thankfully, they had CCTV so we could watch her from the TV in our room (helicopter parent, anyone?)  It was an overnight trip so we bedded down for the night and woke up the next morning (my birthday) in Holland!

Boarding the ferry - she was pretty excited to get on!

Boarding the ferry – she was pretty excited to get on!

Doggy jail!

Doggy jail!

Our little cabin on the ferry - pretty comfy digs!

Our little cabin on the ferry – pretty comfy digs!

We collected our poor dog from her cage, walked off the ferry and boarded a train bound for Amsterdam.  After a delay thanks to a cancelled train at our connection, we finally made it to Amsterdam and Lacey got to take her first tram ride on the way to dropping our bags off at our B&B.  The room wasn’t ready yet so we had to do some exploring with Lacey in tow.  After a delicious brunch at a little cafe, we took off to wander along the many canals in the city.  C was wearing some TCU gear and we were stopped by a couple on the street who was from the DFW area and their daughter is currently attending TCU.  It’s always fun to find fellow TCU fans abroad!

One of Amsterdam's many beautiful tree-lined canals filled with houseboats

One of Amsterdam’s many beautiful tree-lined canals filled with houseboats

Lacey wasn't into the picture-taking thing

Lacey wasn’t into the picture-taking thing

The pup and I

The pup and I

Beautiful church tower

Beautiful church tower

We finally dropped her off back at the B&B and she was pooped!  There were only hardwood floors in our room, so we placed her on the bed to let her nap.  She quickly snuggled up with one of the pillows and made herself comfortable.  We took a short break before heading off to the Anne Frank House.  It was a sobering and educational experience.  I read her diary back in school and I was surprised how much came back to me as we were walking around the Secret Annex where she spent those fateful years in hiding with her family.  It was all so very moving that I found myself tearing up at the end of the exhibit.  Definitely a must do for anyone planning a trip to Amsterdam! We had talked about visiting the Van Gogh museum or Rijksmuseum but we ran out of time so we’ll hit those up next time.

Our rather spacious room at the B&B

Our rather spacious room at the B&B

Statue of Anne Frank near the Secret Annex

Statue of Anne Frank near the Secret Annex

The entrance to Otto Frank's Office (which housed the Secret Annex)

The entrance to Otto Frank’s Office (which housed the Secret Annex)

King-size bed? Check; Pillows? Check; Down comforter? Check; naptime for the pup! (No, she's not spoiled at all....)

King-size bed? Check; Pillows? Check; Down comforter? Check; naptime for the pup! (No, she’s not spoiled at all. Why do you ask?)

That night we had dinner reservations, after all it was my birthday!  The restaurant was super tasty, the ambiance great and company was pretty good too!  We stuffed ourselves on delicious steak & chips, drank good wine and indulged in desert before wandering the canals back to our B&B.  Well, you know what happens when you wander, right?  Sometimes you stray the wrong direction.  We inadvertently ended up in the Red Light district – oops!  We quickly walked through with heads down trying not to laugh at ourselves as women in light up bras tapped on the windows of their places of business trying to get our attention.  Awkward!!

My decadent desert plate

My decadent desert plate

Walking back in the rain (pre red-light district stroll)

Walking back in the rain (pre red-light district stroll)

We finished off our short stay in Amsterdam the next morning with a few hours in the city consisting of more walking/wandering and a trip to a park.  We met a Dutch man with his 10 month old Shiba Inu puppy.  The puppy was so cute and of course, true to her snobby nature, Lacey wasn’t the least bit interested in playing.  We chatted with the man for a while and discovered there were no less than 3 other shibas in the neighborhood and someone breeding them in Belgium.  TCU fans and Shiba Inus in Amsterdam?  Not to mention good food, beautiful scenery and great museums.  I could totally live there!

We finally collected our things from the B&B, rode the tram one last time and boarded the train on the way to Berlin.